London has no shortage of massive music venues. There’s O2 Brixton Academy, The O2 Arena, Wembley Stadium and the Roundhouse regularly attracting the biggest performers from around the world, and the thousands of fans who want to see them play. At the other end of the scale are local bands that play in pubs such as Dublin Castle.
But for something in between, where do you go in this city to hear the next big thing, or listen to your favourite artist in an intimate setting? There are surprisingly few places for such a music-loving metropolis.
So to fill that gap, steps forward Omeara, a brand-new 320-capacity live music venue in converted railway arches near London Bridge—a pocket of London that has seen lots of recent redevelopment.
Set up by Mumford & Sons’ Ben Lovett (who co-founded the independent music label Communion), Omeara is divided into a large bar, small concert hall and separate informal dining area.
"I’ve been playing and putting on shows in London for my entire adult life," said Lovett. "Without the grassroots music venues in this city, the band and I simply wouldn’t have achieved what we have, so I have a lot to be grateful for."
London Mayor Sadiq Khan added: "These venues, which are the lifeblood of our music scene, are often under threat. I know Omeara will be a massive success, helping fresh new talents to make their mark in the capital and have their music heard."
Tequila takes centre stage on the drinks menu with multiple concoctions featuring the spirit. We recommend the Omeara Ora for its refreshing mix of tequila, strawberry purée, lemon and Prosecco. For something sweeter, try a Salty Caramel Flip, made with tequila, mezcal, crème caramel, agave syrup, bitters and popcorn.
Seating options range from booths to balcony tables—look for the stairs to a hidden bar above the main room. Surrounding the bar, you’ll find lots of food options spanning several railway arches—collectively known as Flat Iron Square—including award-winning Mexican street food (Cantina Carnitas), modern Eastern Mediterranean dishes (Laffa), ramen from Barcelona (Tatami) and Spanish dishes (EDū).
It’s early days, but already the programming boasts some exciting music acts. In the future, Lovett hopes to add comedy, burlesque and magic shows to Omeara’s offerings, but for now, treat your ears to live music through a state-of-the-art sound system with a cocktail in hand.